Seattle Archbishop Paul D. Etienne said he will not live in the 9,000-square-foot mansion that many of his predecessors called home.
In a letter sent to archdiocesan priests and deacons Sept. 3 — his first day as leader of the Archdiocese of Seattle — the archbishop wrote: “While the Connolly House has been home to the archbishops since 1920, it will not be home for me.”
“I prefer to live a more simplified life,” he explained, adding that he was “exploring options on church properties” and hoped to find an alternative soon….
“The house doesn’t represent who I am,” Etienne said in an interview with Northwest Catholic, news magazine and website for the Archdiocese of Seattle. “I think the days of bishops living in a manner that’s a lot nicer than the majority of their people live, those days are gone, and they should be.”
“I am a pastor, not a prince,” he added, “and I want to live in a manner that’s more reflective of how my people live.”
Etienne said the “model and message of Pope Francis” influenced him….
“Bishops face a challenge today of reclaiming our credibility,” he added.
Etienne said his decision not to live in the mansion reflects who he is, how he thinks a bishop is called to live and his concern for the environment.
“One guy doesn’t need that large of an ecological footprint,” he said.